This morning our day began with a walking tour in the Westminster area, We took a stroll past Westminster Abbey and the adjacent square to view the statue Sir Winston Churchill. Stopped for a photo opp at the iconic London Phone booth then continued along the avenue into St James Park to view the Queens Royal Horse Guards. The spring flowers are in full bloom, wisteria vines, tulips and various blossoms
Continuing our walk through the spectacular St James Park we arrived at the barracks of the Queens Royal Horse Guards and on to the barracks to view the spectacular changing of the guards..The crowds were intense due to the fact that is was May 1st holiday weekend . Our guide Sue was on top of it and took us to the barracks area to observe the band and the changing of the guards. We were able to get right up to the gate area to view the ritual, versus being in front of the palace where it was at least 10 deep in a crowd of thousands. We followed the guards from the barracks area over to the palace area and moved hillside to have a birds eye view of Buckingham Palace. Unfortunately the Queen was not in residence today.
Our exploration continued with a visit of England’s largest and grandest Tudor palace. Built in 1514 and extended by Christopher Wren in the 17th century, Hampton Court Palace is a beautiful blend of Tudor, Georgian and baroque architecture with 24 hectares of riverside gardens, including a 300-year-old maze. Home to many kings and queens such as King Henry the Eighth and King William and Queen Mary. The opulence of the rooms, gardens and entertaining areas was a site to see. Especially the large kitchens where they prepared the meals to feed the many guests that stayed at the palace. King Henry’s main entertaining hall was a large quite large and the tapestries and art work some of the best in the world. The collection of priceless artifacts and art work are some of the best in the world.
We ended the day with a fabulous Italian meal at Antico, located across the street from our hotel. The meal was excellent. I had an aspargus salad to start then a delicious slow roasted beef pasta for the main course. Others enjoyed a salmon starter and perfectly grilled ribeye steak. Dessert was delectable!
Overnight: Bermondsey Square Hotel